Recently Janel left a comment asking me some questions about my running routine. I thought maybe others had similar questions so I'm going to take a few minutes & teach you everything I know.
Fasten your seat belts.
I got started running gradually. That's a word you will want to remember - gradually. You can get hurt running. You can get obsessed with running. Neither are really good for you. I had begun walking very regularly, pushing myself to go as fast as I could. Bent elbows & all. I know, I'm a nerd. Anyway, one day I just went for it & I could run farther than I had imagined was possible. Now I'm hooked.
I have trained for the Indy Mini Marathon four times. Right now I am in the beginning of training for a half marathon in September. I have used two different programs to train for these big races. I have had success with Hal Higdon's programs. He uses running in combination with stretching, strength training & cross training. A very multi-faceted approach. The other program I have used is through a local running club & unfortunately they only publish the program to paying members. Basically it is a progressive overload approach built on four running days, two rest days, & one long run day each week. The first year I used their program I tried to follow it exactly. The results were somewhat frustrating because I had problems with tendinitis & plantar fascitis. The other years I tailored the program to better fit me & I had great results & my two best finishing times. Basically, I ran my guts out on the shorter runs (using a treadmill to have a better sense of my pace) & then speed walked the long runs, averaging a 13:30-14:00 minute mile.
So, if you are searching for a training program of some kind, there are myriads of them available online & most of them are free. But don't feel boxed in by the program. Listen to your body & pay attention to your schedule so that it works for you. Have a goal to work toward (such as a race). That always motivates me!
And the best advice I can give you involves how to stay with it. Don't allow yourself any excuses. I try to chart every run I go on, record what works & what doesn't. If you have panties that fall down & shorts that ride up, record it! That way you will never wear them again & end up walking on your run because of a wardrobe malfunction. You may laugh, but this has happened to me. I will spare you the details.
Find music that motivates you. Sometimes I listen to prayer songs the whole way because if I didn't pray & beg God for strength, I'd never make it. Sometimes I listen to something really silly like veggie tales. Have a variety. Boredom always leads me to be stagnant.
Vary your route, too. Don't always run the same roads or always run on the treadmill. Be safe & wear bright colors. I just about got hit four times on a two mile run a couple of weeks ago. So stay alert & don't let your music overpower your ability to hear traffic.
Remember that running is kind of like slow torture. Very seldom do I actually enjoy running while I'm running. It's the afterglow that is great - knowing how hard you pushed your body & how good it is for you...& knowing that it helps to dissolve the donut mistakes we all make :-)